Last year we started our educational journey on the impacts of plastic consumption and how that can affect our Ocean’s ecosystem. The misuse of plastic became hugely apparent participating in a beach clean on Tullan Strand in Bundoran. In 30 minutes we collected and tagged over 500 pieces of rubbish that had been washed up, or dumped!, onto the beach.
Our eyes were opened not only to the fact that this immense problem of plastic in our oceans exists but that we, the Tech Sector, can do something about it through the use of technology to help drive the appropriate behaviour change.
After being exposed to the problem of plastics first hand, we knew that we needed share the our findings with our community and see how through our collective energy we could make a difference. The #TechAgainstPlastics movement was born and helped to shape the outcome of Surf Force’s future events.
So what was this 2018 event actually like?
This year we were truly spoilt with incredible summer weather on 13th – 14th July in Newquay, Cornwall, Uk.
Friday saw our Attendees checking in for registration and collect their eco-friendly swag – Trailhead Water bottles, Bamboo Toothbrushes, Beach Towels & limited edition Surf Force Shirt – we all know you are all unique so this year we did a limited run of 6 different designs.
The event started with a beach clean, thank you to SAS for lending us the Kit. Although Newquay on a whole is very clean beach attendees were still shocked to find huge numbers of cigarette buds, plastic bottles, plastic lids, the odd shoe and an very unfortunate number of small pieces of plastics.
Once we managed to get everyone to stop the beach clean (it’s never an easy task to stop), the group started their surfing lesson. You might find this an odd idea if you’ve not been to one of our events before but trust us it’s a fantastic way to get to know the other attendees & share an experience.
Friday evening we were incredibly lucky to be able to present 3 key educational and wonderfully inspirational speakers – Women’s Activist & Surfer, Sophie Hellyer, City to Sea Founder, Natalie Fee & SAS CEO, Hugo Tagholm. All 3 speakers told their stories of why they felt compelled to campaign for the reduction of single use plastics and the sacrifices they have made in order to be apart of the solutions to this growing problem. Sophie extended on this theme by telling her story of why she quit her career as a professional “female” surfer, due to the inequalities and prejudices still prevalent in the sport today, to campaign not only for equality in the sport but in the entire industry. She seeks out and promotes products that are made from reusable or sustainable materials using fairly treated, and paid, people to produce them. What a treat! What an eye opening evening!
After a good rest our attendees came back for a full day of learning – a Salesforce Saturday you might call it. We had a fantastic lineup of speakers sharing everything from Project Best Practices, Einstein Analytics, FLS, Developer Console, Einstein Vision, Platform Events and how businesses such as Salesforce are tackling the plastic problem. Think that sounds good, so do we – check out the full schedule here including session recordings.
And just like that, Surf Force 2018 official event was a wrap but not truly over with many of our attendees staying on for the rest of the weekend to enjoy that lovely summer weather & continue the great conversations they’d had over the 2 day event.
This year we donated Almost £3k to our Charities, CitytoSea & SAS. If you’d like to find out how you can continue to support them and start making Plastic Free Choices please head over to Plastic Alternative. We still have a few t-shirts for sale, if you want one contact firstname.lastname@example.org for an updated inventory, shirts cost £5 and all proceeds are donated to SAS and City2Sea.
Lastly but not least, we couldn’t of done this amazing event without the help of our sponsors, speakers, attendees and of course a special thank you to our team who volunteer their time to help make this event happen.
Thank you – thank you for deciding to be part of the solution, being active and continuing the conversation beyond Surf Force 18.